St. George, Utah – Utah’s Dixie

St. George, Utah

[Zion Natl. Park] [Zion – Kolob] [St. George] [West St. George] [East St. George] [Zion Field Institute] [Zion Area Homepage]
St. Geoge is the gateway to Southern Utah, if you are coming from Las Vegas. The town is the largest in southern Utah and has a lot of interesting sites to enjoy.

St. George Mormon Temple

Right in the center of town, you can’t miss the temple. There is a visitor center at the temple and you can find out all about the Mormon church or the history of St. George.

The Canon

Placed at the entrance to the visitor center is a canon. Not used to fight but to pound. Brigham Young selected the temple site. It was soon discovered that there was a spring on the site. Instead of moving to another location it was decided to fill the wet areas. Lava Rock was brought from the hill west of the temple and the canon was filled with lead and raised in the air and dropped on the lava rock. The rock was driven into the ground until the foundation was solid enough to support the temple.

Temple Quarry Trail

To solve the problem of the temple foundation the pioneers decided to pound lava rock into the ground. Lava rock as big as four feet in width and a foot thick and seven to twelve feel long was hauled along this trail and taken to the temple. The trail is located a third of the way down the hill just to the east of the airport. Go west on St. George Blvd. up the hill as if going to the airport. At the top of the hill, on your right, is a park and 265 south. Turn right and go west two blocks. the road turns hard to the right, at the turn look to your left for a parking spot and the beginning of the trail. It will take a half hour to reach the quarry.

Brigham Young’s Winter Home

Brigham Young, pioneer president and prophet of the Mormon Church, spent a number of winters at this home in St. George. I always like to visit the Brigham Young home, to see how the upper class pioneers lived and the things they enjoyed, and then visit the Jacob Hamblin home in Santa Clara to see how the more common pioneers lived. The Brigham Young home is located at 100 West and 200 North. There are tours of the home daily.

St. George Historic tour

If you have an hour or so to spare and enjoy walking, take the historic St. George tour. You can find the directions in the community section of the phone books or ask in town. The tour leads you past the historic buildings in town including the tabernacle.

Pioneer Park and the Wedge

Located on the hill to the north of St. George, overlooking the city, is the Pioneer park. It I go to St. George with my kids they have me up at the park and hiking through the wedge before the first day is over. The Wedge is a narrow gap in the rock that thinner people than me can easily squeeqe through.

The Old Cotton Mill

From 1868 to 1869 this was the largest producing cotton factory west of the Mississippi. The factory operated off and on for over 50 years, but on a whole it was a very poor venture. The Dixie Mission was created to produce cotton and although not a successful venture the historian A.K. Larsen said : “had it not been for the erection of the cotton factory, the Dixie Mission would have failed.”. It seemed to be the one catalyst that held the people in Utah’s Dixie together. The Mill is located in Washington City. Go north from St. George and take the Washinton exit. Turn right at the exit and go 1 block to the light, then go left from the light and about a mile. You will see the mill on the right side of the road.

Called to Pick Cotton

This historic rock art is located along I-15 as you leave St. George towards Las Vegas. Just as you leave St. George and cross over the bridge over the virgin river, stop and look back to the ledge just behind you and you will see the rock art. The carving was done by Jacob Peart, Jr. and the inscription reads: “I was se(n)t her(e) to rais(e) cotten.”

Shinob Kibe

You can see Shinob Kibe as you approach St. George from the North. It is that anvil looking moung to the south of the Freeway. The mountain was named for one of the Paiute Gods. Shinob was considered to be a protector of the tribes. Before pioneers came to the area, Navajo Indians would raid the smaller tribes and capture slaves. The Paiutes went to the top of this mountain for safety from these raiders. They could protect themselves on this small mesa. Take 300 East and head south out of Washington. The trail is located on the north west side of the mountain. It is a tough hike straigh up the hill but the view is wonderful.

Shinob Kibe to Quail Creek Connection

There is a fun dirt road that is just south of Shinob Kibe and it follows the Washington Canal east and then goes through the pecan ranches and ends up just below Quail Creek Reservoir. It is a really nice mountain biking road to follow.

Washington Canal road

Below Shinob Kibe is the Washington Canal and Road. The road follows the canal some 8 miles and heads south from Shinob Kibe and wanders through the fields south of Washington and ends up just south of St. George. It makes another great mountain biking road or just a fun place to take a drive.


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